Enciso scores stunner as Brighton compile more woes on Chelsea2 min read
Frank Lampard’s first game back at Stamford Bridge ended in tears as Chelsea were well and truly crushed by Brighton on Saturday afternoon.
The 2-1 scoreline suggested an air of competitiveness about a fixture in which Chelsea took the lead through Conor Gallagher but spent almost the entirety of the game fighting for their lives and ultimately came undone to goals from Danny Welbeck and Julio Enciso.
The game got off to a fast start, with Alexis Mac Allister poking wide twice for the visitors and Lewis Dunk having to clear over his own crossbar inside the first eight minutes.
Evan Ferguson sent a beautiful effort crashing against the bar soon after, but it was Chelsea who took the lead against the run of play as Gallagher’s strike from the edge of the box ricocheted off Dunk and beyond the desperate dive of Robert Sanchez after 13 minutes.
The visitors responded well and nearly equalised when Kaoru Mitoma danced his way past a handful of Chelsea defenders and into the box, but his low drive was well kept out by Kepa.
Kepa then had to pull out an excellent diving save to deny a Ferguson header, with Brighton boasting just under 70% possession on the half-hour mark but somehow still behind.
Ferguson picked up an injury with that effort and had to be replaced by Welbeck, who headed home a much-deserved equaliser just moments after coming on.
The two sides would enter the break level, but the stats sheet told a more accurate story. Brighton had 68% possession and boasted 12 shots compared to Chelsea’s two, but the Blues were still hanging on.
It was the same story to start the second half, with Brighton carving through Chelsea but being thwarted by Kepa. Enciso struck the post on the hour mark and Welbeck skied the rebound, with the Seagulls comfortably on top.
Chelsea needed about 20 minutes to get out their own half but they did cause problems when they got there. Reece James’ cross was palmed away by Sanchez, who got up well to deflect Gallagher’s rebound.
The Blues were soon put back in their lane, however, as Enciso unleashed a sensational strike from range which roared into Kepa’s top corner to finally but Brighton ahead.
A response never looked forthcoming from Chelsea, who barely laid a glove on the visitors here. Brighton ended with nearly 60% possession and 25 efforts on goal, with three points the least they deserved.